SEOUL, June 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning revealed Tuesday that a team of scientists from the Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences led by Dr. Park Ji-ae, had developed a radiopharmaceutical called Zr-89 Oxalate, which selectively shows internal inflammation.
It is often difficult to distinguish tumors from inflammation during image diagnosis, and the new pharmaceutical will help overcome this complication. The new agent is also expected to provide a more precise diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
For image diagnosis, contrast agents are used to enhance the contrast of structures or fluids within the body for better visibility. The most widely used contrast agent is [F-18]FDG, or fludeoxyglucose F 18. But it has been difficult to differentiate tumors from inflammation using [F-18]FDG.
However, the new Zr-89 Oxalate was proven to be more effective in discovering inflammation than tumors, because the agent enters more into inflamed cells than tumor cells. Furthermore, by using Zr-89 Oxalate the team was able to discover the area with rheumatoid arthritis, which existing contrast agents could not.
The pharmaceutical was made with Zr-89, a radioisotope produced by the institute’s medical cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator. A medical cyclotron is a circular electromagnetic device, used to accelerate particles, such as protons, heavy hydrogen, and helium, to produce radioisotopes.
The team expects the agent to be applicable to other image diagnosis of various types of inflammations.
The full research results were published in the May 31 edition of Molecular Pharmaceuticals.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)